The identity of Peridance Contemporary Dance Company is shaped by original choreography, versatile dancers of diverse backgrounds, classical and contemporary accompaniment, and collaborations with live musicians. While upholding the elegance and articulation of classical ballet, Igal has structured the Company to explore and experiment with innovative movement and design. The Company, featuring 8 highly versatile dancers, has been rehearsing at Peridance Capezio Center for a few months now, in preparation for its upcoming debut performances.
Today's Featured dancer is Nikki Holck. Stayed tuned to learn about all of the dancers!
Please tell us where you are from and something unique about your hometown!
I was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii for the most part, but I moved away when I was fourteen. My family remained in the islands; since then I’ve returned home at least once a year. Hawaii is a truly unique place. When I was growing up my father always reminded me to look around and take in the beauty of my surroundings. I listened, but never quite understood why he was so adamant about my recognizing this. When I moved away, I was able to appreciate the special place that Hawaii is. The culture, the gentle people, the serenity of the sea breeze, the majestic ocean, the luscious rainforests- how lucky I am to call this place home.
How did you get into dance?
My mom took me to see a local dance recital, and I remember the colorful costumes and most especially the young dancers moving with the music onstage. I asked my mom if I could take ballet. After a few years I hit an age where I thought that ballet wasn’t “cool.” I wanted to take jazz and karate. I wanted to sing. I wanted to be an actress. I quit dancing for a few years, and in that time it became clear that my life was somewhat empty without dance. So I returned with a renewed energy, determined to become a professional dancer.
What’s your favorite thing to do when you’re not dancing?
There is a part of me that feels very attached to the ocean. After moving away from Hawaii, the ocean, the sea breeze, the salty smell of the water - these beach elements are what I missed most. Whenever I am home, I start my day with a walk in the sand, preferably just as the sun is rising. It’s the most magical time of day - quiet anticipation of the endless possibilities of a new morning. Water is an interesting creature; its constant motion and ever changing state are curiously exciting. When I am in New York, my favorite thing to do when I am not dancing is to sit by the Hudson River with a book, notepad, and pen. I walk along the water or find a nice place to sit and read and write.
What are your go-to foods/drinks to get through a tough day of rehearsals and classes?
Fresh fruits and dark chocolate.
Did your family play a strong role in guiding and supporting your career?
Absolutely. I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for my family’s support and belief in me. I am so blessed to have a family who believes that it is possible and beautiful to dedicate one’s life to the arts.
What advice would you give to pre-professionals who are about to enter the professional world or for young dancers deciding if they want to make dance their future?
|Peridance's The Nutcracker (2010)|
The most important qualities that I have learned from dancing have been dedication, determination, and perseverance. I think that all young dancers whether or not they choose to make dance a part of their future should remember that the way they mentally approach each class or rehearsal can be more important than the actual physical “product” that results from the dancing that is done in those classes or rehearsals. If you enter a room with focus, determined to learn and striving to give your best, you will leave feeling more satisfied and fulfilled. More importantly, a focused practice - not being afraid to take risks and learn from mistakes, being present in each situation - will teach your body and mind the skills to become a powerful presence in any situation, be it dance or another profession.
What are one or two things you must have in your dance bag?
Biofreeze and my mini Thera-Roll foam roller.
Is there a place in the city you would recommend as a must see or must do (restaurant, café, park, gallery…)?
My favorite places in New York are the Hudson River Park, most especially the piers south of 14th street. The Guggenheim is another must see. One of my favorite restaurants is Westville East. Liquiteria on 11th Street and 2nd Ave. is another one of my favorite places to hang out.